What is a domain property?
Google uses a domain property to aggregate data for your site into a single source. It captures data across all protocols, subdomains, and subpaths associated with your site so you can get one holistic look at your domain. When you specify the domain you want to cover (such as “example.com”), the domain property will pull together all URLs associated with this domain (such as “https://www.example.com”, “http://m.example.com”, and “https://example.com/path”).
Google introduced domain properties in February 2019, so if you created your Google Search Console account before then, you may need to go back into your account and set this up. Follow the steps below to find out if you already have a domain property or to create one!
How can I identify a domain property?
Your domain property will not have ‘https://’ or ‘www’ in front of it. It will simply be your domain name (example.com, not https://www.example.com). Additionally, you will see a ‘Domain property’ tag underneath the property in Google Search Console. See screenshot below:
What if I don’t see a domain property as an option in my dashboard?
When setting up Raptive access to your Google Search Console in your dashboard, if you don't see an option in the list that starts with “sc-domain:”, then you probably haven't set up a domain property for your site. It’s also possible you are not the verified or delegated owner of the domain property.
It’s important that you share access to this domain property rather than a URL-prefix property so we can accurately analyze data across your entire site. Follow the steps below to check if you are the owner of your site’s domain property, or to create a domain property for your site.
It might take up to 24 hours for the new domain property to show up as an option in the list in your dashboard. Once you see it listed as an option (with the “sc-domain:” prefix), you can continue with the Google Search Console authorization workflow to grant us access to this domain property.
How do I create a domain property for my site?
If you have not yet added a domain property to your Google Search Console account, please follow the steps below before completing the authorization workflow in your dashboard. You will then select this domain property when granting Raptive access to your Google Search Console data.
Adding a domain property to your Google Search Console account:
- In your Google Search Console dashboard, open the property selector in the upper left-hand corner:
- Select “Add Property” from the drop-down:
- In the first “Domain” box, enter your site domain in the form of example.com without any prefixes (no https or www), and select “Continue”:
Next, you’ll see instructions to “Verify domain ownership via DNS record”:
How to Verify Your Domain Property in Google Search Console with DNS
Warning: Do not delete any DNS records during this step - this could cause your site to go down.
The final step to getting your domain property online is to verify it. You’ll need to log in to your hosting provider to begin the verification process. If you don’t know your hosting provider, you can input your site into Hosting Checker and it will tell you. If your site uses CloudFlare, then you’ll want to verify through there instead of hosting.
We’ve included a list of links for top hosting providers and their DNS instructions, as well as instructions for CloudFlare. If your hosting provider isn’t found below, you can do a Google search for ‘how to add a TXT record [INSERT HOSTING PROVIDER NAME]’.
If you cannot find setup instructions, reach out to us and we’ll help walk you through the steps.
Note: If you use NerdPress, reach out to your NP rep and ask for help verifying your domain property. They should be able to set it all up for you.
Verify Domain Property Through CloudFlare
If you are using CloudFlare, your site’s DNS records will be handled there, not in your hosting provider.
To get started, head over to CloudFlare and select the DNS menu item found on the left-hand menu when you first log in.
Once there, you can click on Add record.
Fill out these fields to properly verify (see screenshot for reference):
Content: the value provided by Google Search Console (google-site-verification=)
You can then save the record and return to Google Search Console to verify.
Note: you may have to wait a few minutes before the verification goes through. Sometimes it takes a few minutes for CloudFlare’s DNS records to refresh.
Finishing the Setup Process
Once your ownership is verified in Google Search Console, then you can return to your Raptive publisher dashboard and complete the authorization workflow, giving us access to your domain property.
How do I check to see if I’m the owner of my site’s domain property?
You must use the same email address that has ownership of the domain property when connecting your Google Search Console account from the Raptive dashboard.
- To verify that your email owns the domain property, log in to your Google Search Console account and select the domain property from the drop-down in the top left corner:
- Then, click on Settings at the bottom of the left menu:
- Under Property settings, check to see if you are a verified or delegated owner of the domain property in the Ownership verification section. If you are not, you can click on this tab to submit the required verification to confirm your ownership of the domain property.